01/02/2014 Click


01/02/2014

Click goes to court with the founder of Lavabit, the encrypted e-mail provider used by Edward Snowden. Plus the latest in virtual reality headsets.


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Transcript


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You're the keeper of people's secrets.

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The government wants access.

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Do you give them the keys? Or...

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This week, Click meets the man

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who is sending a message to the US government -

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the only one he wants them to read.

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We're in court with the founder of the e-mail service

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the FBI wanted to crack to get at Edward Snowden.

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We'll also show you where you've been recently,

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and how to disappear from Google's location services.

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And we have the eye-popping headwear

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that could really turn heads in the coming years.

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All that, plus the latest tech news,

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and if you needed another reason to get sucked into the programme,

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we'll show you how to build yourself a black hole in Webscape.

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Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.

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Can you ever have a completely private e-mail conversation?

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Well, that's what's been at stake this week in Richmond, Virginia,

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as the latest skirmish in the fight over privacy unfolds.

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Now, as with so much in this area,

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it all goes back to the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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It was, of course, he who brought to light just how much of our data

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and communications are sifted by government agencies.

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Being, of course, aware of this himself,

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Snowden used a highly encrypted personal e-mail service.

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And this week, the spotlight shines on the e-mail provider he used,

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Lavabit. Run by Ladar Levison,

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Lavabit's security was so high,

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it was thought near impossible for even government agencies to crack.

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Last summer, though, Levison was asked to hand over the keys

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that Lavabit used to encrypt the data passing through its servers,

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so the FBI could read the e-mails of one of its users.

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That user is believed to have been Edward Snowden.

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Instead, he shut the service down without warning,

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and issued a statement on his website saying he would not,

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as he put it, become complicit in crimes against the American people.

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Levison is now appealing the government's ruling,

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in what's being seen as one of the most important cases

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for the future of privacy on the internet.

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We sent Jen Copestake to Virginia

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to catch up with him at his appeal hearing.

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It's here at the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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that Ladar Levison of Lavabit

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will have his appeal in front of a panel of three judges.

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He won't hear the decision for several weeks.

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'After the hearing, we head back to Washington DC,

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'where Ladar has been staying.'

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What did you think about the hearing today?

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On the one hand, I'm certainly happy that I finally had my day in court.

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I just hope that the justices are able to parse

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what is a very complex technical question.

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OK, Snowden was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize...

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The Lavabit appeal could have far-reaching implications

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for the future of internet security. Depending on the outcome,

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it could set a precedent for whether law-enforcement agencies

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can force businesses to hand over encryption keys,

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unlocking all their customers' data.

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Encryption keys secure all communications

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coming in and out of a network,

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but with the large amount of data now being shared online,

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the software needs updating to maintain privacy.

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What most people don't realise

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is that the major mail protocols

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that we use today were created in the '70s...

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..when a half-dozen computers were connected on DARPAnet.

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And everybody knew everybody else that was on the internet.

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And security was never a focus,

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because we didn't think the intelligence agencies

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were collecting all of the communications

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going over the internet. Now that that's become clear...

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..it just illustrates the need for us to rethink...

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..many of the protocols that we use on the internet.

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Ladar has started a new project called Dark Mail,

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which aims to bring encrypted security to everyone,

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not just cryptographers.

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Dark Mail is a joint venture between Lavabit and Silent Circle,

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a company specialising in telephony encryption.

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Silent Circle's president and founder is Phil Zimmermann,

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an internet legend who designed one of the first privacy protocols,

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PGP, or Pretty Good Privacy.

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I have been worried about surveillance technology

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for many years, but what we've seen now, recently,

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from the revelations from Snowden is that the surveillance state

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is becoming more powerful than anyone imagined.

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Everything that we do is being tracked and monitored

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and recorded, and I think it's bad for civil liberties.

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I admire what he did.

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I admire Ladar's decision.

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In fact, that's why we thought it would be nice to work together.

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If he's not successful in his appeal,

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Ladar says he might consider taking the case here, to the Supreme Court.

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But that would have huge cost implications.

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Since shutting down Lavabit,

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Ladar has relied on crowd-funding to pay for his legal fees.

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I've been fortunate that my parents are so proud of me.

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They've been effectively taking care of me

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since I shut down my company, and it's allowed me the ability

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to really become what is almost a full-time activist.

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It's scary to think that our government is slowly gaining

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unfettered access to the entire world's communications,

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and that they are harvesting those communications,

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and storing them for an indefinite period of time.

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I trust the government when they provide adequate transparency

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and I can verify that they are not abusing

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the authority that they have been given.

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I do not trust a government that operates in secret.

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With more revelations on the scope of American spy programmes

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from Edward Snowden being released almost every week,

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the debate over internet privacy is only going to get more intense.

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The discussion, the debate has just started.

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We're going to be discussing these issues

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for the next three, four years. I think there may come a day...

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when the United States is no longer associated

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with the word "freedom" in people's minds.

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The sad thing is that I think I'm too much of an American

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to abandon my country when that happens.

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Jen Copestake in Virginia.

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Well, Jamie Bartlett is a security and privacy researcher

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and specialist, and he's agreed to meet me

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-in this very public location for safety. Jamie, hi.

-Hello.

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Is this something that we ordinary people

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who have nothing to hide need to be worried about?

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I think it's really important that people feel they can communicate

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securely, whether it's individuals, businesses...

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It's not just about being able to hide yourself from the government.

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Being able to communicate safely and securely,

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browse the internet securely, is incredibly important,

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because there are plenty of third parties out there,

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nefarious third parties that might want to see what you're doing.

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More broadly, it's the ability to communicate freely

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with fellow citizens or whoever you wish...

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is an extremely important right.

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It's very good for the health of society to be able to do that.

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Can we assume it is now impossible to have a conversation

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away from prying eyes?

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I think it is always safe to assume there's a possibility

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that your online communications are being monitored.

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But actually, there are a lot of pretty good,

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pretty secure ways that you can communicate with other people.

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For example, the use of PGP encryption is relatively simple.

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It's used by a large number of people,

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and it's very, very hard to crack.

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So while there are always ways of security services

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trying to get in, and we don't know exactly what they can and can't do,

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even with these revelations by Edward Snowden,

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it's not quite as easy as people think to monitor everything,

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but equally, there are ways of evading it.

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Does it seems to you that since all these revelations

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have started surfacing,

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more and more ordinary people have decided to take action

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to develop anti-surveillance methods?

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In 1991, what we saw was the launch of something

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called the crypto wars, citizens trying to evade surveillance.

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Counter-surveillance by the people.

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And I think we are entering into a second crypto wars.

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Over the last 12 months or so,

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there's been a pretty dramatic increase in both

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technical software developers and ordinary citizens

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figuring out ways of trying to evade surveillance,

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a sort of citizen counter-surveillance movement.

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There's been a growth in crypto parties around the world,

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where people learn how to use PGP encryption,

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or browse the net anonymously.

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And there's very interesting new software being developed for,

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for example, a secure alternative to Skype called Jitsi.

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There's new ways of being able to send text messages more anonymously,

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and that includes Chinese dissidents,

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ordinary citizens who just want to make sure

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that their communications are secure, but of course, exactly the same tools

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and techniques are going to be used by serious and organised criminals.

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So that's the great challenge that we face.

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OK, Jamie, thank you very much for your time.

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If anyone asks, we weren't here.

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Now, of course, it's not just governments who are after your data.

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Sometimes, it's companies who are providing you a service

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and which you've agreed can track you in the first place.

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Take a look at this.

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The lunar New Year is the reason behind

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the world's biggest annual migration.

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Gong xi fa cai, by the way.

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And these coloured lines show the movement

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of hundreds of millions of people over this period.

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Their locations have been tracked

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because they use the largest search engine in China, Baidu.

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And over here, if you've allowed Google to access the location data

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from your smartphone, the same thing is happening to you all the time.

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Take a look at this.

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If you go into Google dashboard, you can access any location data

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that's being collected on you.

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For example, here's what I got up to during our visit

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to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.

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You can cycle through each day to see, for example,

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where the boss went skiing earlier this month,

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or you can chart my driving trip

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out of Las Vegas and into the desert.

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Pretty cool. Or spooky, depending on your point of view.

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Now, of course, you may very well know that you signed up

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for something like this, but let's be honest,

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sometimes apps can install on our phones

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and we agree to the permissions

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without really realising the consequences.

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Fortunately, you do have control over what Google can see

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of your location. You can switch it off entirely

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through the dashboard, or delete any or all of your history.

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Anyway, next up, it's a look at this week's tech news.

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And more from Edward Snowden first,

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with revelations that British intelligence agencies have been

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snooping on users of YouTube, Facebook and Blogger.

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The leaks, published by America's NBC network,

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suggest that in 2012, GCHQ monitored Facebook likes and comments

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that weren't supposed to be public.

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Facebook says it has since encrypted much of its data.

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All three companies have denied granting GCHQ access

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to their servers.

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It also emerged that both the NSA and GCHQ

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made use of information leaks from mobile phone applications,

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including Angry Birds,

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many of which send out the handset's ID and location on a regular basis.

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GCHQ hasn't commented, but some hackers have,

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by defacing the Birds website.

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Orange has become the first major operator to include

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Europe-wide calls and data use in a monthly subscription plan.

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The move is expected to be copied by other EU operators

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after regulators promised to stamp out roaming charges by 2016.

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It may not save customers much cash, though.

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The cheapest of the two tariffs starts at 90 euros per month.

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Last year, UK operator 3 did something similar

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across 11 countries, including the US,

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reporting a tenfold increase in data used in those countries.

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And finally, another step forward in the world of 3D printing.

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Perhaps the ultimate one,

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as Stratasys unveiled the first machine

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that can print objects made of mixed and multicoloured materials.

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The company claims that the 330,000 machine

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will halve the time it takes to create prototypes

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by using triple jetting,

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mixing differing amounts of coloured dyes,

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rubber and plastic simultaneously to create the desired object.

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Last week, we had another reminder of the heat and hype

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surrounding wearable displays,

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when one American start-up raised a quarter of million dollars

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in just one day to crowd-fund its unique headset.

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And with mounting speculation that Google might finally be ready

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to release its own Glass eyewear,

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Dan Simmons has been looking at the pros and cons

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of looking like a cyborg.

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Heads up.

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Eyewear is the focus for many developers at the moment,

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most of whom are popping tiny screens into headsets.

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But one start-up is hoping we will look at things

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in a very different way.

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Inside, the player is actually looking at two million mirrors

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that flip around to bounce light straight into the eye.

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Special lenses help bring that image into focus,

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so there's no need for a screen.

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The result, it is claimed, is a pixel-less, stunning image,

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although there's still a year or so of testing to be done.

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Using more conventional means,

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Sony has had a home-theatre headset available since 2012,

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but its latest version tracks your head movements

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courtesy of a gyroscope and accelerometer in the back,

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so wearers can look around the scene.

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For dedicated gamers, the Oculus Rift headset goes even further,

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with a 360-degree game world fed through two HD screens.

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And then there are headsets made for the real world.

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This pair from Recon hits the market in the next few months,

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making use of specific apps for each situation,

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linking up to the net to overlay real-time data.

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OK, Glass.

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Get directions to... Covent Garden Station.

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Perhaps the most famous of these is Google Glass.

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Still in beta testing,

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the voice-activated specs hook up to your smartphone,

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offering a heads-up map with directions,

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web searches, or to share pictures or videos that you might take

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using the built-in camera.

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But why not simply use your smartphone?

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Phones are quite anti-social, when you think about it.

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If you want to do an activity,

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you have to look down and take it out of your pocket.

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Whereas having a headset, it allows you the freedom

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to actually just get on with your life.

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You see something interesting, you can have a photo taken.

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You can have a conversation with someone and engage with them

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without having to fact-find by sneaking around through your pocket.

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But is it cool to look like this?

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The problem is, it looks quite...

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I don't want to say ugly, but it is very much kind of un-aesthetic.

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People don't want to wear things that are obviously technology.

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They want something sleek,

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sunglasses or a pair of normal glasses

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that incorporates technology in a more easy-to-use way.

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Sony is experimenting with this pair,

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that adds info to what you can see while watching TV,

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if you're willing to look like Jason Bradbury for a bit.

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Sony likes the idea of not having to look at a second device,

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maybe a mobile phone, but rather letting fans just watch the game.

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You don't take your eyes off the screen,

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because all the information you might need, like the goal score line

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or tweets that come up from other fans,

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appear right before your eyes.

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The company is adding more functions,

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and claims its design makes me look so much better than Google's.

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And with the discreet way that we display information internally

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so that only the wearer sees it,

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there's no reason for you to have to constantly move your eyes

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up and away and break that eye contact

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and ultimately cause a distraction to your audience,

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if you're speaking to someone.

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The lack of arms on this prototype, of course,

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would probably prove even more distracting.

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And perhaps the most futuristic vision is offered

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by these space glasses from Meta, that create virtual interfaces,

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like a laptop or model for the user to manipulate with their bare hands.

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Only the wearer can see what they're doing, which,

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to the rest of us, could make them look particularly stupid.

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Dan Simmons. And as if they heard Dan coming, take a look at this.

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Google has released some snaps of frames

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it will offer for sale to use with its Glass product,

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including these sleek pairs of shades, which will sell for US 150.

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So, even if that doesn't convince you that headsets can look cool,

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at least no-one will recognise you while you're wearing them.

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And now it's time for our ever-sensible look

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at all that's best on the web.

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Here comes Kate Russell with Webscape.

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World Of Warplanes is a free-to-play dog-fighting sim

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that delivers adrenaline-pumping, massively multiplayer team action

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in an authentic line-up of over 100 different aircraft

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from the golden era of military aviation.

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Upgrades and customisations can be earned over time,

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or you can pay with real-world cash for some in-game currency

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if you're too impatient to wait.

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Flying anything from the biplanes of the 1930s

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up to the first jet planes of the 1950s,

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this is fast and furious dog-fighting fun,

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where teams of 15 players on each side are pitted against each other

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in a battle to the death.

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There are already millions of pilots signed up on the site,

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so you'll never be short of someone to shoot out of the skies.

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It is a hefty old download, but well worth the wait,

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as you'll be out on the aerial battlefield in no time

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once installed, as the learning curve is very comfortable.

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The YouTube channel is a great place to head while you wait

0:20:060:20:09

for the download, where they've done a really nice job of presenting

0:20:090:20:12

tutorials and guides with a historic newsreel feel

0:20:120:20:15

to get you in the mood.

0:20:150:20:17

The cameras in modern smartphones are now such good quality,

0:20:250:20:28

they can realistically replace expensive digital cameras.

0:20:280:20:32

But if you want all the specialist shooting styles and features,

0:20:320:20:36

you're going to need a folder full of apps as well.

0:20:360:20:39

But not if you download A Better Camera for Android,

0:20:390:20:43

which gives you all the multi-functions of a high-end camera

0:20:430:20:47

through one central dashboard.

0:20:470:20:48

# Pictures of Lily made my life so wonderful... #

0:20:490:20:54

This app is all about capturing the moment.

0:20:550:20:59

There are no post-production filters or touch-up tools in here.

0:20:590:21:03

It doesn't even save your photos inside the app.

0:21:030:21:06

They just go straight to the camera roll like normal photos.

0:21:060:21:10

There are loads of great features, including burst photography,

0:21:100:21:14

night shot, panoramas, and HDR, or high dynamic range,

0:21:140:21:19

with no lengthy processing time required.

0:21:190:21:22

While the app is free,

0:21:220:21:24

some of the features included are in trial mode,

0:21:240:21:26

so you'll have to pay eventually if you want to keep them.

0:21:260:21:29

# Pictures of Lily... #

0:21:290:21:31

For today's internet generation,

0:21:350:21:37

it's all about being disposable.

0:21:370:21:39

If you want the Snapchat appeal

0:21:390:21:41

in the form of social media platform Twitter,

0:21:410:21:44

then you've come up with Kwikdesk.

0:21:440:21:48

# It's better than a letter

0:21:480:21:54

# I'm sending it you... #

0:21:540:21:57

This completely anonymous social platform is a way of sending

0:21:570:22:01

messages of up to 300 characters out into the great unwashed internet.

0:22:010:22:07

After typing it up, you select how long the message will remain

0:22:070:22:11

in the system for before it self-destructs,

0:22:110:22:14

for one, ten or 100 days from when you hit send.

0:22:140:22:18

The public timeline is hidden,

0:22:180:22:21

so you can't just browse through the post.

0:22:210:22:23

You'll have to find a hashtag to query instead.

0:22:230:22:26

If all this makes you ask why,

0:22:260:22:29

the only sensible answer is probably...why not?

0:22:290:22:33

It's actually been launched as a piece of conceptual art

0:22:330:22:36

by Irish photographer Kevin Abosch.

0:22:360:22:38

Not everything interesting online needs a purpose.

0:22:380:22:42

# With the letters of your name... #

0:22:420:22:48

60 Second Adventures In Astronomy...

0:22:480:22:51

How do you make a black hole?

0:22:510:22:53

Apart from the obvious answer - very carefully -

0:22:530:22:56

that is the topic of this week's video of the week.

0:22:560:22:59

From the Open University's 60 Second Adventures In... series,

0:22:590:23:03

which are well worth checking out on their YouTube channel.

0:23:030:23:06

Chandrasekhar calculated that if a star is big enough,

0:23:060:23:09

when its fuel runs out, there is nothing to stop gravity

0:23:090:23:12

from making its core collapse to create a black hole.

0:23:120:23:14

Unfortunately for Chandrasekhar, his contemporaries,

0:23:140:23:17

like Sir Arthur Eddington, just didn't believe him,

0:23:170:23:20

but it turns out he was right, and in 1983,

0:23:200:23:22

he eventually won a Nobel Prize for it.

0:23:220:23:25

From Dark Mail to black holes in just under 25 minutes.

0:23:250:23:28

Don't say we're not good to you.

0:23:280:23:30

And of course, Kate's links are available at our website

0:23:300:23:32

if you missed them. bbc.co.uk/click is the address you need.

0:23:320:23:35

And if you have an opinion on anything you've seen today,

0:23:350:23:38

and I suspect you just might, we'd love to hear it.

0:23:380:23:41

We're also on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ too.

0:23:430:23:46

That is it for now, though.

0:23:460:23:47

Thank you very much for watching, and we'll see you next time.

0:23:470:23:50

Click goes to court with the founder of Lavabit, the encrypted e-mail provider used by Edward Snowden. Plus we try on the latest in virtual reality headsets.


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